Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Mark, the difference is you're counting paychecks and I'm counting mouths.
I just want to be clear here. I am indeed counting paychecks but I'm definitely not counting *on* paychecks.
It's a not-so-subtle distinction.
My chart has the potential to go paragolic someday if the numerator (food stamp particiipation) continues to grow and the denominator (nonfarm payrolls) shrinks.
Won't that be a hoot.
As you said earlier, this *is* National Gallows Humor decade. I couldn't add a laugh track here though. It's just too depressing.
There are quite a few fast food places (especially fish joints) that will sell you a given amount of raw fish, fries and other sides. Then they collect a token fee (usually $1) to cook it for you. It's the same with take-n-bake pizza.
Swipe the SNAP card, collect the dollar in cash, and your order is the same as the guy ahead who paid all in cash--except the taxpayers paid for yours.
To be eligible, the store has to have a display of the raw food. I'm pretty sure no one ever checks to see if the displayed food is ever actually prepared for a specific customer.
One of the predictive methods I rely on to attempt to assess by induction when a lot of "give" has fallen out of the economic system, and for this to be true, many non-food households must be operating on a very slim margin.
We have a lot of hipster friends and acquaintances. I have noticed over the last few years how the food at our occasional potluck get-togethers has sort of declined in price, while increasing in prep time. It used to be all fresh, organic lumps of fish or veggies prepared minimally. Now there's more often some cheaper meats, and home-baked goods or veggie salads.
I don't really know much about their finances, but most of them have well-paying jobs.
It looks to me like they're going through the same process my wife and I did in 2008--completely re-organizing our meal plans to reduce our spending on the volatile elements like meats and fresh produce. If the price of our weekly pork shoulder doubles, it's not as big a deal as it would be if we were eating beef sirloin regularly.